Mr. Green Reads Aloud

The Mouse

by Robert Green

Mouse

EVERY TIME I HEAR this story it brings to my mind images of our little kitchen before we renovated our century-old Mississippi farmhouse several years ago. There was an old cabinet-style water heater in the corner, which was part of an even earlier renovation. I know this because the heater was partially blocking the tilt-out potato bin. A little awkward, but then which would you rather have: a potato bin, or hot running water? Mr. Will’s logic was flawless.

Anyway, we had lots of fun in spite of that and used that hot running water to wash a lot of dishes and all that that implies. Good memories.

I’m happy to report that I’m doing much better with my fear of m––e these days. Not so much so regarding r––s…

—but let’s quickly move on.

This is perhaps my most favorite of Mr. Green’s stories, and lots of folks who have read his stuff say the same thing. Hope you enjoy it.
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Go to the story.

Mr. Green Reads Aloud

The Story of Keesh

by Jack London

Eskimo hunter

THIS IS THE TIME OF YEAR when things get lively hereabouts. All through the day, but mostly early in the morning and late in the afternoon, off in the distance somewhere you’ll hear a pop or a boom or sometimes two or three in a row. Like big, heavy firecrackers.

It’s hunting season.

The dove hunters always lead off around Labor Day, and every year that opening-day morning dawns like some invasion has just been launched. As soon as it’s light enough to see, things start popping.

Mr. Green loves to tell about the morning in 1994 when he woke to the familiar sound of shooting going on. Dove season again. He looked out the window to admire the ice storm we’d had the night before. Man, look at all that ice! —Man, those dove guys are really gettin’ with it out there!

Wait … this is February—

He happened just then to be looking at a pine tree in the edge of the woods that was doubled over with ice, when suddenly another gun went off. The pine jerked upward like a man who’s been shot … and the whole top third of it fell heavily to the ground, leaving a jagged stump sticking up instead. Then the same thing happened to one next to it. And a then a big limb popped loudly in two and dropped … and it dawned on him what all the shooting was.

When the rest of us joined him, we stared in amazement. Dazzled by the beauty; fascinated by the phenomenon; distressed by the devastation to the trees, we felt excited, but helpless to stop the damage. We were without power for over a week and learned a little about roughing it. Folks around these parts still talk about the ice storm of ’94.

But I digress…

Right now we’re in the middle of the deer hunters’ turn—and we’ve got the possibility of ice and snow this weekend.

So I thought I’d post this story about an Eskimo hunter.

(See how I glided into that?)

You’ve really got to listen to this story. The ending will slay you. So to speak.

Stay warm!
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Go to the story.

For folks who want all Mr. Green’s stories at once

Stories on CD

WE’RE MOVING into the annual Sprint-Flat-Out-From-Thanksgiving-All-The-Way-To-New-Year’s-Day Run around here, so I won’t give you the long version of this. (Leck is relieved.)

The short version (Leck’s favorite) is this:

We’ve put all the stories on two CDs—all the downloading and hassle done for you—PLUS a FREE BONUS CD with nearly 15 hours of some of the very best readings from LibriVox.org, already packaged and ready to play.

Check it out.

We did this same thing back-when with You Need a Story (except, there was only a Volume One that time around), and folks gave them as gifts during the holidays, apparently with great success, judging from the amount of good feedback we got. There was a symbiotic thing goin’ on: it helped them with the hassle and helped us with a bill or two.

More later. (—Leck, you’ll be the first to know.)

Hope everyone had a GREAT Thanksgiving!

Mr. Green Reads Aloud

Behemoth

by Robert Green

Matches

UNTIL NOW all of the stories I’ve posted here have been classic stories by well-known authors.

But I’ve decided it’s high time I introduced some of the work of my own best beloved. And it is logical that the first one of his stories to go up should be the first one that went up way back when he was posting his readings fresh out of the box.

“Behemoth” is his account of how when he was a boy he was burning the trash … well, I won’t be a spoiler.

Suffice it to say the incident was pretty traumatic for him as a little kid.

He grew up, of course, to be among other things the technical guru-hero for Eddings Hill and a right mature citizen. But he told me the other day he was listening to the reading to double check the sound before it posted and when he came to the part in the story where he screams for help he got choked up just remembering it.

To this day.

(I got all mothery and wanted to go find that little boy and take him on my lap and console him.)
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Go to the story.

Poem Sunday – Pied Beauty. Hopkins.

I FIRST POSTED THIS exactly seven years ago. What brought it to mind? A windblown leaf, smoke rising from a friendly old chimney, a word from a distant friend. So I searched. Sure enough, there it was, seven years ago exactly this week. Worth printing again. So timely.

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Warming fires are in the woodstoves daily as well as nightly now, and our small, annual harvest of chestnuts is in. Kathryn has already made her first round of Chestnut Bisque. The view from my kitchen window is a gloriously textured carpet of leaves under the huge, old pecan tree. Puts me in mind of this poem. We’ve had the most colorful autumn in north Miss’sippi that we can remember. The pied beauty of the season just seems to go on and on. Must share this loved poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins, which marvels at the incomparable variety and diversity in God’s creative palette. Hopkin’s injunction to us is well-taken. “Praise Him.”
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Pied Beauty

Glory be to God for dappled things—
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;
And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
Praise him.

~ Gerard Manley Hopkins 1844-89


pied: having patches of two or more colors
brinded: streaked, or patchy coloring
stippled: dotted, flecked, speckled

Mr. Green Reads Aloud

Being a Public Character

by Don Marquis

Public characters

IN LITERATURE—and particularly in storytelling—there is a time-honored tradition of telling a tale in a critter’s voice. This week’s story is reminiscent of Mark Twain in its flavor and Rudyard Kipling in the point of view. People in our generation will remember Don Marquis for his memorable characters Archy and Mehitabel. Remember Archy the cockroach, who typed poems on Marquis’ typewriter each night, which were all in lowercase because he couldn’t operate the shift key? Yeah, so this is that same author. Enjoy!

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Go to the story.